V8 Is The Truly Unexpected Ingredient For Making Minestrone Soup

bowl of minestrone soup
bowl of minestrone soup - Esseffe/Getty Images

While canned soup is quite plentiful on grocery store shelves, there's nothing like homemade. Take minestrone soup, for instance, which typically consists of hearty vegetables, beans, and pasta in a tomato-based broth. While you can use tomatoes or tomato sauce to whip up your own bases for the wholesome and delicious soup, there's another ingredient you can use that will make the process a whole lot easier: V8.

Along with saving time in the kitchen, using V8 as a minestrone base ensures your soup is flavored perfectly thanks to its selection of vegetables. Keep in mind that V8 contains a lot of the essential ingredients called for in minestrone recipes in a convenient bottle. It also makes for an excellent soup base due to its consistency. And if you're concerned about your intake of salt, there's a low-sodium version available, which means you can enjoy the great flavors of minestrone while also keeping your health in check.

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

Vegetable Juice Offers Lots Of Benefits When Making Minestrone

Bottles of V8 vegetable juice in grocery store
Bottles of V8 vegetable juice in grocery store - The Toidi/Shutterstock

V8 is brimming with vegetable juices, including carrots, lettuce, beets, celery, spinach, and of course, tomatoes. These ingredients are similar to what's called for in most minestrone recipes, which means that you can enjoy a streamlined cooking experience without negatively impacting flavor. While it's also a good idea to add vegetables to contrast the silky smoothness of the V8-based broth, you'll derive even more flavor from the juice than you would if you simply added veggies to simmering water.

Great flavors, a gorgeous texture, and kitchen convenience are three key benefits of using V8 in your minestrone soup. However, the beverage also has much to offer in terms of nutrition, which might not be the case if you opt for canned tomatoes when creating your soup. For instance, every 8 ounces of V8 provides two servings of vegetables, meaning a recipe calling for 3 cups of V8 will equal six total servings of vegetables. Additionally, you'll get plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C from the juice, which are essential nutrients for maintaining overall health.

Other Tips For The Tastiest Homemade Minestrone

Person chopping vegetables on cutting board
Person chopping vegetables on cutting board - Peopleimages/Getty Images

When incorporating other vegetables into your V8-based broth for minestrone soup, make sure they're all roughly the same size. Similarly sized veggies will cook at the same pace in the soup, which cuts down on uneven cooking. You should also exercise caution when adding herbs and spices to the mix. The best course of action is to add seasoning in small increments and sample the soup to ensure the flavor isn't too overpowering before adding more.

As for what to serve with your homemade soup, buttered bread is an excellent choice when you're enjoying a light lunch or dinner. Seeded Italian loaf, sourdough, or baguettes are all ideal in this case, as they can easily soak up the delicious liquid while maintaining a crusty exterior. If you'd like a slightly more substantial meal, minestrone pairs beautifully with a classic grilled cheese sandwich, as well as Italian-inspired dishes like baked ziti or meatballs. With V8 as a shortcut, a wholesome homemade minestrone can be ready practically any time you see fit.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.